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Antstream - It's Netflix for Games!


jon_cybernet
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3 hours ago, Flub said:

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/10/08/atari_architect_quits/

 

Atari VCS architect quits project, claims he hasn’t been paid for six months

Retro console a mess, may never launch, sources allege

 

 

 

Well we needed some fun after the Vega debacle went nowhere.

 

I wonder what the decision makers at Antstream saw that leads @Anne Summers to be confident it'll all work out? 

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2 hours ago, carlospie said:

Has that guy come back in here who played antstream for 1000 hours in its first launch week? 

Don't know if you mean me ( my username is Tee 1000 maybe that's where the 1000 hours is coming from ) but I have been playing it pretty much every day since the end of May 

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57 minutes ago, carlospie said:

Are you still topping the charts? 

 

Winning some and loosing others. I'm doing my best but there are lots of great players who are getting some unreal high scores. I will try and make the most of my time at the top cause as soon as it's released worldwide I can't imagine what I'll be up against. Having great fun with weekly challenges called bish bash josh. One of the Antstream team members sets a high score or a fastest time in a specific challenge and we all have a week to beat it and each other's best scores, Its loads of fun 

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14 minutes ago, Tee 1000 said:

Having great fun with weekly challenges called bish bash josh. One of the Antstream team members sets a high score or a fastest time in a specific challenge and we all have a week to beat it and each other's best scores, Its loads of fun 

 

You're welcome to try to beat my high score on Mr Do! I'll give you a week to beat it, it's loads of fun. I'm not a member of the Antstream team and you'll need the original game from MAME rather than some Amstrad clone. Out,of interest, what's this week's 'bish bash josh' challenge?

 

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12 minutes ago, MagicalDrop said:

welcome to try to beat my high score on Mr Do

Cool, just googled Mr. Do and I totally forgot about that game even existing . I remember it now, great game. I will give it a bash on my retropie as I dont think it's in the Antstream Catalogue, not yet anyway .

 

14 minutes ago, MagicalDrop said:

Out,of interest, what's this week's 'bish bash josh' challenge?

 

This week is a challenge from Act Fancer - defeat as many enemies as you can in 1 minute at the start of level 3. I am currently in the lead but still 2 days to go and it usually gets very busy towards the end

Antstream_2019-10-07-00-32-20.jpg

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12 hours ago, MagicalDrop said:

You're welcome to try to beat my high score on Mr Do

 

Just had a chance to read through the Mr Do thread fully. Really cool how ye challenged each other to beat each other's score . That's exactly what we are doing on the Antstream discord server. Only difference is that we can't change dip switches to make games easier and give more lives and our score in saved in online Scoreboard 

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4 minutes ago, Tee 1000 said:

 

Just had a chance to read through the Mr Do thread fully. Really cool how ye challenged each other to beat each other's score . That's exactly what we are doing on the Antstream discord server. Only difference is that we can't change dip switches to make games easier and give more lives and our score in saved in online Scoreboard 

Me and @MagicalDrop are just honest , we could cheat of course but what would be the point?

 

He's beating me so far.  But I'm house sitting for a friend tomorrow and bringing my switch to pass the time.  

 

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One of the things I am happiest about is how well the challenges have been received. We had an idea when we were putting it all together that challenges would be a big part of the appeal, but the engagement and feedback we've got from them has been definitely exceeded our expectations. I'm currently working on scaling our challenge creation pipeline so we will be able to create more of them, more quickly. We've also got lots of fun ideas about evolving the challenge ecosystem - the way challenges are sent and received, and different ways of competing/battling other players in different ways. Can't say too much about that but it's really going to kick things up a gear. A big part of the idea behind Antstream is that we offer a new way of playing old games - it definitely isn't supposed to be a straightforward library or catalogue of games like you'd launch from the menu of your RetroPie or hacked Wii or whatever. 

 

Another useful thing is that we have got to the level of participation where we have a useful volume of user behaviour data, so challenges being put together will be based on what we know players enjoy, rather than what we guess they might enjoy. 

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I'd be interested to know how the challenges actually work, I mean technically how are they implemented and tracked in the game itself? Like for those ones where (I think this is right) you have to kill the highest amount of enemies in a level, or the time it takes to kill x enemies in a level, how exactly is it being tracked and measured?

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Yes, the challenges sounds genuinely intriguing. For me, this sort of thing is the only way I would consider playing retro games in any serious capacity. NES Remix was so cool for that, the same old games given a great new lease of life. I mean, it sounds like a joke to say I wouldn't want to play more than 10 seconds of Ice Climbers at a time, but by gum it's true and not even necessarily derogatory!

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13 hours ago, MagicalDrop said:

Out,of interest, what's this week's 'bish bash josh' challenge?

 

 

I'll give you a bit of insider info, Bish Bash Josh is going to be replaced by Bish Bash Baggers this week. Josh is on holiday. This also means its going to be considerably harder as Jim is significantly more skilled at playing retro video games than Josh. 

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1 hour ago, Anne Summers said:

 

I'll give you a bit of insider info, Bish Bash Josh is going to be replaced by Bish Bash Baggers this week. Josh is on holiday. This also means its going to be considerably harder as Jim is significantly more skilled at playing retro video games than Josh. 

 

Sorry for being unclear, I meant what is the game and what is the challenge? I'll be honest, I have almost no recall of Act Fancer despite having been actively interested in arcade games ever since I used to sit down in my local pub with pint on a Galaxian cocktail table at the age of 18. Don't think it's ever had a home conversion either. Certainly an obscure pick.

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1 minute ago, MagicalDrop said:

I have almost no recall of Act Fancer

 

I vaguely remember playing it in the local arcade. It's actually a really cool game and very difficult. The power ups you collect expire after a certain amount of time so you need to keep collecting them in order to stay powered up. Anytime you get hit , you lose your powered up form (their are many) and go back to wimpy alien where one hit kills you . Scramble to survive and collect more power ups 

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3 minutes ago, Tee 1000 said:

 

I vaguely remember playing it in the local arcade. It's actually a really cool game and very difficult. The power ups you collect expire after a certain amount of time so you need to keep collecting them in order to stay powered up. Anytime you get hit , you lose your powered up form (their are many) and go back to wimpy alien where one hit kills you . Scramble to survive and collect more power ups 

 

The YouTube video I watched yesterday very much reminded me of an early period Megadrive game.

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On 08/10/2019 at 20:25, Flub said:

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/10/08/atari_architect_quits/

 

Atari VCS architect quits project, claims he hasn’t been paid for six months

Retro console a mess, may never launch, sources allege

 

 

 

I've never understood the project. A new old console packed with old Atari games.

 

Why would anyone buy one when

 

-if they have an old TV and their original set up they could just play it on the old hardware (rugged enough to survive a nuclear blast!)

-they could run it on Stella, an emulator that's been perfect for almost two decades now

-they could buy one of many flavours of Atari Flashback, mini consoles that have been around for almost two decades now

 

I think Antstream dodged a bullet here.

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9 hours ago, MagicalDrop said:

 

Sorry for being unclear, I meant what is the game and what is the challenge? I'll be honest, I have almost no recall of Act Fancer despite having been actively interested in arcade games ever since I used to sit down in my local pub with pint on a Galaxian cocktail table at the age of 18. Don't think it's ever had a home conversion either. Certainly an obscure pick.

 

Sorry, yeah, I knew that's what you mean - only I wasn't in the office today and don't have much to do with Bish Bash Josh so wasn't sure what the game and challenge is. 

Act Fancer is a really good Data East side-on shooter with an interesting power-up system and a huge amount of difficulty, which I don't think has been available on home systems over here (if anywhere) before. 

Another one we have like that is Shadow Force, which is a scrolling beat'em-up from Technos that I personally consider to be a spiritual continuation of the arcade Double Dragon series, with a lineage going back to Renegade. It's based on robots and ninjas fighting in the future, but the gameplay mechanics are pure DD on steroids, with special moves and the ability to possess enemy characters and fight as them.

 

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On 08/10/2019 at 15:00, alex3d said:

Not the best decision, sure. Maybe the awareness raised will help them getting into talks with other partners. But certainly not the best start you can imagine.

 

I'd imagine it's all stemmed from a discussion with "Atari" (i.e. Infogrames) about licensing old IP, seeing as "Atari" seem to make their revenue these days from either a) suing companies for using things like Breakout in Kit Kat adverts (or even making Jeff Minter re-release TxK as Tempest 4000 so they can get a slice of the pie), b) flogging off Ocean's IP so old Atari ST games can be turned into Atari Jaguar cartridges or c) begging for money from Atari fans for re-skinning a Linux box because they don't have the financial capability to raise the money themselves. 

 

I'd also presume Antstream's thought process with the VCS was probably "there's 10,000 backers of the VCS, if we can get 10% of those backers as monthly paid subscribers, then it's worth it. Doesn't cost us much to do a Linux version of the client software. Maybe we'll also get some Atari IP to add to the service."

 

"Atari" meanwhile are thinking "great, this will get the backers off our backs for a while for doing bugger all work"

 

Except when the announcement came out, you end up with comments on the Indiegogo campaign like

 

Quote

"A streaming service to emulate 30-40 year old Atari games on a console with well enough power to do that itself. LOL…" 

 

Quote

"Are you kidding me!?!? We will have to subscribe to Antstream to play old Atari games!?!? Really!?!?"

 

Quote

"So at launch, after spending $300+ i have to now spend more money just to play games?"

 

Quote

"Another update that tells us nothing about the vcs other than we can now pay a monthly fee to play 40 year old games on a system that may or may not ever be delivered in our lifetime. Thanks."

 

I don't know if Antstream are genuinely naive or just desperate to get more subscribers or licensed IP, but partnering with "Atari" on for the VCS seems like a really strange decision if they were aware of the toxic status of the campaign. Now Antstream have the risk of the VCS not being released, or even if it is released it doesn't deliver to the level that was promised or expected and that's if the feedback from those users is positive on Antstream itself, which isn't even due to be released in North America until January 2020. Not only do Antstream have the challenge of launching the product in the US (and making sure it not just works, but delivers to expectations), you're also now launching it to 10,000 backers with a significant chunk going to be already pissed off at the delays behind the VCS.

 

Again, I don't know if Antstream are desperate, naive or if it's just living in the "Antstream bubble" where everything is Absolutely Brilliant (probably should be quoted from one of the Darling brothers for true retro gaming fan service), but all that risk for maybe a few more subscribers or some licensed Atari games on their service seems like a really strange decision.

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